Please sign in to post.

Booking Flights, Tour insurance

We are booked for a tour next June. When do you think we should book a flight? Not clear looking at the airlines now if the flights are refundable? Not sure where to look if flight is canceled about refund policy. We had a voucher from Travel Guard we decided to get the "refund for 1/2 the cost of the trip for any reason. Not really clear after speaking with them how they review "clams for any reason"?

No one has a crystal ball to see the future but hopefully we will be able to go on our tour to Portugal next June.

Posted by
21666 posts

Start looking at price of tickets now so you have a feel for the market. The big dilemma at the moment is that nothing is normal. Two years ago it would have been buy as soon as you can because the price will only go up with a few dips along the way. Now, who knows?? Airline line prices are high and many stay high as airlines recover losses and capacity is way down. What used to drive prices down was excess capacity on popular routes. That is not the case today and is unlikely to return in the near future since airlines are very short on qualified pilots. We recently flew on a couple of domestic flights that we twice the price we used pay for the same flights. We are looking at flights to Hawaii at Thanksgiving and they are more than double two years ago. We just cancel our Fall trip to London mainly because of airlines prices and availability. So----- any advice on when to buy is sheer speculation. Good luck.

Posted by
4863 posts

I hope that you get to go as well. You don't say where you are located. I was looking at flights from Seattle to Lisbon and Aer Lingus seemed to have some pretty good fares. $815 RT for random dates mid-June for regular economy. One fun aspect is that you could have a layover in Ireland on the way there or back with no additional airfare charge.

My guess is that if you can find RT airfare from West Coast to Lisbon and back for around $800 that is about as good as it is going to get. You could always wait and watch for awhile, but no one truly knows what is going to happen.

Posted by
180 posts

I usually say buy 3-6 months before. I usually use Hopper to help me predict what prices will be like. But airlines won’t start adjusting prices really until 6 months at the earliest, but usually not until 3 months before. I’m always a last minute flight buyer and get my flight 3-6 weeks before departure and most of the time pay the lowest price or close to it. However, this year I did pay about $100 more for a flight waiting last minute, however even with the added $100 the flight price was very reasonable.

Moral of the story, use Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Hopper to set alerts and monitor flight prices. Hopper is a great predictor and google flights will show you the price history of a route in the last 60 days so you can see how much it fluctuates.

Posted by
202 posts

Not clear looking at the airlines now if the flights are refundable?

Although I did not end up buying the tickets and canceled the trip, when I recently looked at prices via Delta / Air France for Paris, the pricing options included paying an additional $400 per ticket for fully refundable tickets right up to the the day before the flight. I assume other airlines are doing similar things, so you should check directly with the airline booking engines, not some aggregator. However, who knows what the refund / cancellation rules will be for flights next year? Too early to tell...

I still have a google flights price alert set for the flights I had been looking at, and today got a notice that the nonstop to Paris on Air France leaving next Wednesday just dropped $400 to the lowest it has been in the past month. Talk about unusual price action, I don't think in "normal" times you would ever see summer ticket prices dropping on popular routes a week before the flight...makes me wonder if airlines aren't getting more cancellations over the growing concerns with the Delta variant.